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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 31st March 2024

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from Fairyhouse & Cork


Cawley Furniture Novice Handicap Hurdle 2.00
Buachaillbocht goes for the hat-trick here after a brace of wins at Punchestown, and it’s likely he’s still ahead of the Handicapper. This is a deeper race though, and there’s a few useful rivals, not least Gordon Elliott’s Pacini and Gavin Cromwell’s The Other Mozzie. However, Buachaillbocht won with a bit in hand last time out, and is taken to bring up the hat-trick

Irish Stallion Farms EBF Honeysuckle Mares’ Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2.35
Fun Fun Fun (nap)
Willie Mullins sends out a whole platoon for this Grade 1 contest, with ten declared. There’s been plenty of support for Jade De Grugy after her fine fourth in the Dawn Run at the Cheltenham Festival, but stablemate Fun Fun Fun is one going the right way after a cosy six and a half length win at Naas last time out, so gets the nudge. Paul Townend takes the ride on Jade De Grugy, so it’s Patrick Mullins who gets the leg-up on Fun Fun Fun. Safe to assume that it will be one Closutton inmate or another for this Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, with Fun Fun Fun making the most appeal

Paddy Kehoe Suspended Ceilings Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 3.10
No Flies On Him
The chance is taken on Edward O’Grady’s No Flies On Him, who followed home the exciting Tullyhill in a Listed race at Punchestown last month. But for a mistake at the last, he might have got closer than the 9 length gap, and is taken to go one better here. Paul Townend takes the ride on Anotherway who is still in the ‘could be anything’ category, while Gordon Elliott’s Dee Capo is a smart sort. No Flies On Him to score, with Mark Walsh on the reins adding to the appeal

Donohue Marquees Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 3.45
Mirazur West (nb)
Mirazur West was turned over when an odds-on favourite in the Kingsfurze at Naas three weeks ago, but is taken to get back to winning ways here. There was some pretty unsure hurdling in that Grade 3 contest, so he’s expected to come on for that and now sports a hood to aid the concentration. Paul Townend saddles stablemate Tounsivator and this race will probably come down to who hurdles better of this pair. Course and distance winner Mirazur West to repay the faith

WillowWarm Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 4.55
Tactical Move
A really good race in store where a marginal preference is for Tactical Move, who is proven at this trip. It’s going to be pretty sapping on this heavy going, so Blood Destiny and Spillane’s Tower will be at the far end of their range. That said, they both have form over this trip, while it’s hard to assess just how good St Felicien is after being brought down early on in a Premier Handicap at Cheltenham. Tactical Move to outlast the rest on this ground, with Spillane’s Tower looking the best of the rest


Bar One Racing Hurdle 1.45
Sir Gerhard
The class act in this line-up is Sir Gerhard, and the return to this 2 mile trip is just the ticket. Last seen trailing in last of all in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, this looks a more realistic assignment. He’s won at Grade 1 level three times, and after a stint chasing has returned to timber. Call Me Lyreen is a decent opponent and gets 5lbs from Sir Gerhard, but still looks up against it. Sir Gerhard to land this easily, at a price to match

Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase 2.55
Now Is The Hour
Gavin Cromwell has a potentially smart chaser in his yard with Now Is The Hour, and there’ll be plenty watching carefully as he tries fences for the first time. A winner in both of his last starts over timber, latterly in the Grade 2 Prestige Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock Park, he shouldn’t be troubled by the drop back in trip in the hat-trick bid. Respected

Bar One Racing Chase (Grade 3) 3.30
Asterion Forlonge
It’s a shame that this Grade 3 has been reduced to a match with just the one rival taking on Asterion Forlonge. It’s unlikely that Lucid Dreams can trouble Willie Mullins’s grey, so Sean O’Keefe’s main concern will be getting a clear round in, as Asterion Forlonge is prone to the odd error. Fresh from a creditable sixth in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and should be winning this

Bar One Racing Easter Handicap Hurdle (Listed) 4.05
Ashdale Bob
This should be a showdown between Boyne Hurdle third, Da Capo Glory and Ashdale Bob. Last seen a solid seventh of Twenty-one in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham, Da Capo Glory looks to have less on his plate here, and in receipt of 4lbs from Ashdale Bob should make a race of it. However, Ashdale Bob is probably going to be just too good for Da Capo Glory, though Jessica Harrington’s stable form is a concern

The Mandarin

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